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Article published October 29, 2012
Preserve public lands
Sam Hoszwa Butler Township
I read the article in the Oct. 12 Butler Eagle about Gov. Tom Corbett’s firing of Pennsylvania’s state parks director, John Norbeck. I find that action very troublesome. Norbeck is a conservationist who has extensive knowledge in proper public lands management and had repeatedly blocked efforts by Corbett and his cronies to open state parks to commercial resource exploitation. I do not see parks as a “resource” to be used for commercial gain, but Corbett apparently does. It is no secret that several gas drilling companies contributed to Corbett’s campaign and that the chief executive officer of Amerikohl Mining contributed to his campaign as well. Under no circumstances should publicly owned, taxpayer-funded land that is designated a park, forest, gameland or environmental education center be sold out to commercial companies for timbering, strip mining, underground mining, or fracking. That would be a despicable horror. If this happens, where will those of us who still care about the natural world and what happens to it be able to go to find solitude and reprieve from the devastation that is being wrought by these four atrocities all around us? Do we need another Deshon Woods tragedy to wake us up to the fact that politicians cannot simply do what they please with public lands?